AKIPRESS.COM - Dozens of people on an Air Canada flight to Australia have been injured after the plane encountered unexpected turbulence, forcing it to land in Hawaii, Guardian reports.
The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered “unforecasted and sudden turbulence” about two hours past Hawaii and diverted to Honolulu, according to an Air Canada spokeswoman, Angela Mah.
“Current information indicates there are approximately 35 people who appear to have sustained minor injuries,” Mah said. Nine had serious injuries, emergency responders said.
Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Chief Dean Nakano said the injured ranged in age from children to the elderly. Emergency responders met the plane at the gate.
Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain.
Passengers told reporters the turbulence had tossed people into the air, some hitting the ceiling. “We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof and everything fell down, and stuff … people went flying,” Jess Smith told CBC News.
The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 metres), about 1,000km south-west of Honolulu, the US Federal Aviation Administration said. Its spokesman said crew members had asked for medical personnel to meet the plane at the gate.
The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members.
Air Canada was arranging hotel accommodation and meals in Honolulu and options for resuming the flight, Mah said.